Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I've been working with one girl now for a few months and finally have made some headway.
She's actually listening to me!
And everyone else wrote her off as hopeless...

Still got a loooooooong way to go, but at least she's now willing to listen.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

At The Lake

I love standing at the lake.
I enjoy watching the sun
Reflect against the ripples
That turn the waters
Into glittering peaks and points.

But yesterday,
Only half the lake

The other half
Was frozen over
With a sheet of thin ice.
Covering the lake.
Hiding its shine.
Dulling its reflection.

Sunset came
And went
And darkness fell upon
The lake.

Yet still,
Through the darkness
Half the lake

LV tagged me to post links to 2 blogs that I enjoy reading.
Here they are:
David on the Lake
Half Baked

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Caring Too Much?!?

I'm really fuming right now, and just want to get this off my chest.

As you know, I teach. In the english department. Since I'm a young, with-it sort, some girls have developed a relationship with me, and call or text me with questions, problems, or just to shmooze. One principal is all for it. She wanted to take me on for another period JUST to talk to the girls.

Today, the assistant principal calls me in to talk about one of the girls I've been talking to. Then, she told me that I should cool off talking to the girls, because it may cause politics in the hebrew department if they find out that I'm talking to the girls. As an english teacher, I may have a negative impact on the girls and advise them in the wrong manner.

Now, no matter that I have a Rav, a major mechanech, whom I speak to about major issues. No matter that there are maybe one or two other teachers in the entire school whom the students feel comfortable talking with. No matter that some potential disasters have been avoided because of the kesher thes girls have with a teacher.

Nope, no matter.

The one thing on her mind is that it may lead to politics, and she doesn't want my name to be besmirched.


So these girls should be left with noone because of the idiocies of some unrealistic people.

If this is what this world is like, count me out.

I'm going to continue doing what I know is right.

When I started this job, my Rav told me that if I do what I'm doing, I'll get flack. I was waiting for it all along, but now that it's actually happened, I'm officially ashamed to be a part of this school.


Monday, February 19, 2007

To My Students...

When you raise your hand in question
And there's no time to answer
At the moment
I see you.

When you come crying to me
Begging me for those extra points
So that your parents shouldn't be
I hear you.

When you call me just to talk
And become frustrated
When I don't pick up my phone
I understand you.

When you complain to me
About the wrongdoings of
Other teachers
And how they hurt you
I cry for you.

When you're talking during class
and I ask you to take your conversation
And you're embarrassed,
I hurt with you.

When you're overloaded with work
At school and at home
And I schedule another test
I break alongside you.

When you worked really hard
And finally get that mark
You've always dreamed of
I smile with you.

When you realize that school
It just one stop along life
And you give it your all
But don't let it overpower you,

When you notice the girls around you
And befriend them
When you try hard
When you fall
When you succeed,

When you open your mind
And heart
To the world
I notice.
I care for you.
And I respect you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Underneath It All

Everybody tells me how happy I seem.
Underneath it all, I'm crying.

Everyone tells me that I'm doing so much.
Underneath it all, I feel like a failure.

Everybody tells me I'm truly amazing.
Undeneath it all, I'm two feet tall.

Everyone tells me that I'm so positive about everything.
Underneath it all, I'm screaming.

Everybody tells me I'm brilliant.
Underneath it all, I don't know much.

Everyone tells me how accomplished I am.
Underneath it all, I know I could do so much more.

How come I feel the opposite of what everyone tells me?

OK, I know I sound like a teenager, but seriously, this is how I feel...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Freezing Rain

There's a pitter patter
On my window.
Frozen drops.

All it takes
Is a little coolness
And the small object
That once brought growth
Is now the bearer
Of destruction.

Drenches me
And penetrates.

Ice pellets
Break me.

Warm up a bit,
Will you?

Editor's note: This poem is meant to be taken literally and on a deeper level, as an analogy towards relationships with others.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Call Home

I went to a workshop over Shabbos.
One woman asked how she can stop dominating over her 19 year old son and give him space if she's so worried about him all the time.

The group of us then argued over the pros and cons of telling your older child that he/she must call home by a certain time each night if they are not in house.

My opinion was that though the child may not realize it at the time, this calling to check in is a symbol of respect on the child's part and showing care from the parents' part.
I also added that if the parent calls to make sure the child calls, he/she isn't allowing the child his/her freedom and not allowing him/her to learn responsibility.

What's your take on things?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Self Perception

Had an interesting discussion with some students yesterday.
We started dicussing how one can never know what is happening in another's life, and therefore, shouldn't wish to have the other's life. (They brought this up...)

We then continued into a discussion on judging others and feeling that others look down upon you.

I told them this:
Noone feels looked down upon unless you have something to be looked down upon for.

Of course, most started arguing and claimed this wasn't true, which was expected.

So let me explain:
If you're a genius, and know it, then if one day, someone tells you "You know, you're so stupid!" - will you believe him?
Obviously not.
You know you're smart, so what another says is just plain foolish.

However, if your IQ is not above the 100 range, and someone would call you stupid - no matter if the thing you've said WASN'T stupid, you'd still feel so, because you FEEL that there's validity to what the other's saying.

Same goes for much else.

It's all a matter of YOUR perception.

So don't let others get you down.
Know that you make your own choices, and NOBODY can make you do or feel anything you don't choose to do or feel.

I remember discussing this topic with some MO girls who asked me why Chassidic Jews looked down at them.
I didn't reply in the affirmative or the negative - what I did say was two things:
1)Have you ever asked anyone Chassidic this question?
2)Noone feels looked down upon unless you have something to be looked down upon for.

After a lengthy, two hour discussion, they admitted (without my insinuating much) that maybe they weren't dressed so tzanua, and maybe they weren't behaving with guys kihalacha, and a multitude of other things they KNEW they were doing wrong, but didn't want OTHERS to acknowledge the fact.

I told them: You live in a real world, babe. What you wear and what you do define where you want to be. Granted, you're not at that level. Don't expect others to place you above the level you're at. It's all a matter of perception. Your own self-perception.

And that's the whole of it.

Arguments, anyone?

Monday, February 5, 2007


This is a post of procrastination.
Here I am, supposedly marking test papers.
If doing that was easy, I wouldn't be posting, would I?

And if whatever you were doing before you read this captured your attention, you wouldn't exactly be reading a post on procrastination, now, would you?

So what can I do to stop my serious problem of procrastinating?

I've got over five hundred papers waiting to be marked, including about 250 essays. (and that's no exaggeration!) Why am I posting instead of marking?

And then I want my students to hand in their stuff on time.
What a great example I'm setting, huh?

Thursday, February 1, 2007


To preface, I work with teens.
I talk to them, advise, teach, etc.

I've been involved for a couple of years now, and I'm still amazed at the stupidity of some of the adults out there. I mean, these people are supposed to be experts in the field, but they continue to discourage, degrade, or simple dismiss the teens of today. They create rules they know won't be followed, they harp on the smallest of problems but neglect to see the biggies, and they refuse to acknowledge that their way may be the wrong one.

How can one be the principal of a school and neglect to notice the disillusionment of many of the girls? Aren't our schools supposed to be instilling a love of Yiddishkeit? When I asked some students whether they liked being frum, or what they liked best about being frum, many were hard pressed to find an answer, or simply stated "I don't. I'm just scared that if I don't stay frum, I won't be accepted by my family and friends."

We're the Am Hanivchar. We have more to offer these girls than just a notion of acceptance. Why can't we show it?